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UNEP, WEF urge to prioritize investments in nature

United Nations, May 28 (Prensa Latina) UN Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Thursday urged governments, companies and financial institutions to make nature the center of their economic decisions.

A total investment in nature of USD 8.1 trillion is required between now and 2050 – while annual investment should reach USD 536 billion annually by 2050 – in order to successfully tackle the interlinked climate, biodiversity, and land degradation crises, according to the State of Finance for Nature report released.

The report finds that annual investments in nature-based solutions will have to triple by 2030 and increase four-fold by 2050 from the current investments into nature-based solutions of USD 133 billion (using 2020 as base year).

‘Biodiversity loss is already costing the global economy 10 percent of its output each year. If we do not sufficiently finance nature-based solutions, we will impact the capacities of countries to make progress on other vital areas such as education, health and employment. If we do not save nature now, we will not be able to achieve sustainable development,’ said UNEP Executive Director, Inger Andersen.

The authors of the report urge Governments, financial institutions and businesses to overcome this investment gap by placing nature at the heart of economic decision-making in the future. They stress the need to rapidly accelerate capital flows to nature-based solutions by making nature central to public and private sector decision-making related to societal challenges, including tackling the climate and biodiversity crises.

While investments in nature-based solutions cannot be a substitute for deep decarbonization of all sectors of the economy, they can contribute to the required pace and scale of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

However, nature presently only accounts for 2.5% of projected economic stimulus spending in the wake of the world’s health crisis, Andersen said.

Experts stated that forest-based solutions alone, including the management, conservation and restoration of forests, will require US$203 billion in total annual expenditure globally, which is equivalent to just over US$25 per year for every citizen in 2021.

‘The report is a wake-up call for Governments, financial institutions and businesses to invest in nature — including reforestation, regenerative agriculture, and restoration of our Ocean,’ she said,